Deductive Minds Wanted - CF card issue

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jamesgysen, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Hopefully this will be easily answered by someone and I can get a little piece of mind. Here are the details:
    1. Middle of a portrait session (had already shot approx 45 images) with 40D (current firmware) & 2x off-camera flash. Fresh batteries, non-tethered, all going well.
    2. Lexar Pro 400x, 8GB CF (UDMA) - was already 1/4 full however has been formatted (always in camera) within the last week. Just some earlier photo's sitting on there.
    3. Put the camera down for five minutes to adjust light stands (so it went to sleep), when I tried to resume shooting (I 'wake it up' with the shutter button) a message flashed on the back saying something in the ways of "THE CURRENT CF CARD IS NOT FORMATTED" and to please format the card. NO error message #.
    4. After a small aneurism, I turned the camera off, checked all connections/batteries/CF slot pins etc, turned it back on and the same message appeared. Did this all a second time and everything came back to life magically as if nothing had happened.
    All gear has been well maintained, clean dry and the like. I managed to retrieve all photo's with no corruption and even shot a few more test frames to check (no issues). Has anyone experienced the same issue? and, Is this the beginning of the end for either my CF card or the camera?
    Your input is greatly appreciated.
    Regards, James
     
  2. Glad you were able to recover your shots. If you're as paranoid as I am, I'd say it's time to get a new CF card. In any case, since you do have all your shots, why not format the card and do some non-critical test shooting and see what happens. For anything important, though, I think a new car is the answer...
     
  3. I think your card is going. When you store a picture on a card, it writes the picture to the card and writes a little entry in a special place of the chip that's really small and just tells your camera/computer about that picture and where it is on the card itself. That prevents your camera having to search the entire card to find out how much space is left and how many pictures are on it. If it had to, you'd have to wait a few minutes for it to investigate the chip each time you turned on the camera. When you format the card, you're really only erasing the little section and not the image itself (that's why if you accidentally format the card you can easily get the images back as long as you don't use it).
    When you turn on the camera (or wake it up) it reads that small section to determine how many pictures are on it, space, etc. and if it can't read it thinks the card isn't formatted. That part is critical to the storing of images, and I'm pretty certain is the beginning of the end for your CF. It's one of those things that starts to happen more, and more often and one day just won't work. You don't know if that day will be today, or next year, but get a new card. It's very unlikely your camera.
     
  4. Thanks William, I'm approving that purchase through the "boss" now. I just also want that peace of mind that it won't happen to another card if there is indeed an issue with the camera.
     
  5. Matt, you seem to know allot more about the CF file structure than I do; thank you for the response. This kind of worries me as the card in question is only two years old (and honestly not too heavily used). Bad luck I guess.
     
  6. Maybe something went wrong in the last formatting of the card?
    Or maybe something is wrong with the camera's going idle/wake up function?
    Did you do any firmware upgrade prior to this?
    I find it hard to believe that something is wrong with the CF card. They can be used for years of extensive shooting, and they keep delivering. At least those of well known brands.
     
  7. I don't know Ann, I've had a couple of
    cards go bad in the middle of an
    assignment. Two went bad within a
    couple of days after maybe a year of
    service while two others purchased at
    the same time are rocking right along.
    I've always considered the card as the
    weak link for no particular reason even
    though I have several that are 3 or
    more years old and work every time.

    Rick H.
     
  8. Rick, I don't know what cards you have, but there have been some problems with counterfeit SanDisk CF cards out there from third-party sources like eBay...
     
  9. The card was last formatted last week, normal conditions, no problems and I had shot with it since as I mentioned. I have two 40D's and so far (knock on wood) there has been no problem 'waking' them up. Also Ann, the last firmware update for the 40D was some time last year or so, ergo it is supposed to be good.
    I agree, CF cards should be good for year upon year of faithful service however the key word to that is should. My experience has been similar to Ricks wherein I had one card glitch within 6 months.
     
  10. "Matt, you seem to know allot more about the CF file structure than I do"

    It's just the old windows FAT32 file system, there's tons of information about it available on the web, for those who are curious.

    "I find it hard to believe that something is wrong with the CF card."

    They do fail, unfortunately often at crucial times. Last time it happened to me was when I photographed a friend's beautiful but terminally ill long-haired white cat for her. Card died, photos lost, then ... cat died. Oops. Major bummer.

    Cards are cheap, I'd buy a new one, and see if the failure persists. If not, I'd toss the old one.
     
  11. I had one card glitch within 6 months​
    With the same camera or the other 40D?

    You used this CF card: Lexar Pro 400x, 8GB CF (UDMA)

    I would check what the manual says about card compatibility. Maybe this card is too new and too fast for the 40D to handle properly. Or you could check it out with Canon.
     
  12. According to friend of mine who works in the electronics industry, a memory card (or any sort of flash memory) should last about 100,000 read/write cycles. But, here's the catch, that based on probabilities. They can fail far sooner or far later. He says it just as likely to fail in 1 year as it is to last 10.
     
  13. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Maybe this card is too new and too fast for the 40D to handle properly​

    There is no such thing as "too fast." UDMA cards are completely backwards-compatible and cannot be "too fast" for a camera. There could be other problems but it will never be "too fast." This is easy to learn about in about thirty seconds on the web.
     
  14. With the same camera or the other 40D?​
    Different card, different camera Ann. I did check the compatibility prior to purchase and saw no warnings that there would be a problem (and it has been my go-to brand for the bulk of my cards over the last 3 years). The 400x is far from the cutting edge in UDMA so I'm not demanding much from it.
    just as likely to fail in 1 year as it is to last 10​
    Wow. Pinpoint reliability ;)
     
  15. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    here's the catch, that based on probabilities. They can fail far sooner or far later. He says it just as likely to fail in 1 year as it is to last 10​

    There is no understanding of probability in that statement. It's dead wrong without actual sample data and distributions.
     
  16. UDMA cards are completely backwards-compatible and cannot be "too fast" for a camera.​
    I find that statement hard to believe, Jeff.
    Do you have a link that confirms that there will be no compatiblity issues for any cameras when using a UDMA CF card?
     
  17. That's part of the UDMA standard, Ann.
    They'll dumb down for older hosts, and
    give up some performance. The host
    device will have no problem even if it
    can't exploit all of the UDMA card's
    features. As Jeff says, that info is a
    mouse click away.

    I've had very good luck with cards of all
    types, and out of hundreds in different
    roles, did have one CF card fail about a
    year into its life. It happens sometimes.
     
  18. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I find that statement hard to believe, Jeff.​

    Well go do the research on the way things operate. You can start with the UDMA standard that Matt recommends. I know it's easier to stick one's head in the sand than to spend time understanding the technical details but try to take the time to do it before spouting nonsense.
     
  19. Where is the link?
     
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Is your browser missing google? Since it appears to be, here are the relevant standards:
    http://www.t13.org/documents/UploadedDocuments/project/d1321r3-ATA-ATAPI-5.pdf
    http://hddguru.com/download/documentation/ATA-ATAPI-standard-6/ATA-ATAPI-6.pdf
     
  21. I don't have a pdf reader on this computer.
     
  22. Where is the link?​
    Where's the initiative, the genuine curiosity, and the manners? Come on, now, Ann. Nobody has the energy to be pulling some sort of UDMA Standard practical joke on you, right? Yeesh.

    Just Google this phrase:

    udma card backwards compatible

    so that you can see not only links to various white papers/docs from both card and host device manufacturers, but also lots of general discussion on the subject. After an exhaustive review of all that, you'll see that you already got succinct, correct information directly above in this thread. No tricks, nothing suspicious, nothing "hard to believe." The people who created the standard had a strong interest in not pissing off millions of end users, so the standard incorporates legacy host compatibility, full stop. And the people providing that info here have a vested interest in laying out those simple facts in plain language, as already done.
     
  23. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I don't have a pdf reader on this computer.​

    Then get one.
     
  24. Never mind. What a lot of fuss guys can make....
     
  25. "What a lot of fuss guys can make...."

    You're the one making a statement equivalent to saying the earth is flat. Being female doesn't get you off the hook for unfounded statements of personal incredulity in response to someone knowledgeable posting a simple fact.

    Seems to be a pattern with you, followed by pulling out the "guys" card. I know technically educated women who would be far harsher, because they've spent their professional careers trying to fight the stereotyped image of women that you're reinforcing here ...
     
  26. here's the catch, that based on probabilities. They can fail far sooner or far later. He says it just as likely to fail in 1 year as it is to last 10​

    There is no understanding of probability in that statement. It's dead wrong without actual sample data and distributions.​
    I'm just stating what I took from a conversation with someone who knew what he was taking about. I don't think the 1 year, 10 year numbers were meant to be exact, just an approximation to make the point that there is a high level of variability in how long SD cards last. As far as it being dead wrong 'till the data is show, that's new logic to me.
     
  27. It is the logic that is used to make trouble in almost every forum thread, Siegfried. By intent.
     
  28. FWIW, I had pretty much the same issue with my 5D Mark II and a Lexar 16GB card some time ago. Returned the card to Lexar (under warranty), they sent me a new one which promptly developed the same problem. Each time I lost a couple images that were corrupted, and once had to use a file recovery software because the card could not be read in any of my cameras or card readers (the partition table or some such thing must have gotten corrupted). I'm guessing that (at least in my case) it could be some subtle hardware incompatibility between the card and the camera which from time to time causes a corruption of the data on the card. I stopped using the Lexar card (only one I had); none of my other cards (Sandisk, Kingston, A-Data, Transcend) ever had this kind of a problem. Needless to say, have avoided buying Lexar ever since.
     
  29. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    As far as it being dead wrong 'till the data is show, that's new logic to me.​

    It's wrong because you don't have the shape of the curve for the distribution of failures. Once you have some evidence of that distribution, you can make statements like you made.
    It is the logic that is used to make trouble in almost every forum thread,​

    Logic is a terrible thing, isn't it? If we could just be right by making earth is flat statements like Don points out, then we could say whatever we want and nobody could point out that something is wrong.
     
  30. Jeff, do you have any idea of how you portray yourself?
     
  31. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Yes. A person who doesn't think science works by guessing, conjecturing and making things up, and by making illogical statements. I'm not a tin hat type.
     
  32. I rest my case.
     
  33. Ah, so Ann *is* a tin hat type!
    Who appointed Ann as policewoman of photo.net?
     
  34. Jeff, do you have any idea of how you portray yourself?​
    The irony!

    Come on, Ann. Just once 'fess up and show a sign you recognize that your pre-conceived notion (in this case, about something as cut and dry as the UDMA standard!) was simply incorrect. And that your questioning of the quality/reliability of the simple, to-the-point, and correct information posted by others in response to your comments was the only contentious thing going on. If you're going to take it personally when the correct information is succinctly provided, than why not make the equally personal gesture - just this one time - of simply saying, "Oh! I guess I was wrong, and didn't mean to introduce unfounded guesses into a simple technical discussion." Just the once.

    You jumped right to questioning and challenging the messengers, rather than thanking them for trivially simple info you could have had in a trice if you'd spent as much time looking it up yourself as you spent typing in your strange challenge. Which is familiar ground. I'm having deja vu! You've rested your "case" about Jeff, but haven't even acknowledged that leaping right to casting doubt about the facts wasn't constructive. And you wonder why feathers get ruffled? The whole idea of these forums is to inform with the facts, and to leave an informative thread behind. That seems like such a simple goal. People who put in time towards that goal do indeed get a little defensive when someone seems to be working against it.
     
  35. She's a Nikon user, she's just over here to be annoying.
     
  36. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    deja vu - indeed.
    WW
     
  37. I am not going to do that, Matt.
     
  38. If you keep this up, this will happen (or is already happening):
    1) People will stop asking questions
    2) People will stop helping one another
    3) We will be left with the trouble makers that almost never contribute with good adwise.
     
  39. Ann:
    "I am not going to do that, Matt."

    Unwilling to ever admit that she's wrong ... yet lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings.
     
  40. So Don, what good adwise do you have for the OP?
     
  41. It's wrong because you don't have the shape of the curve for the distribution of failures. Once you have some evidence of that distribution, you can make statements like you made.​
    Jeff,
    I'm not sure I should even be engaging in this off topic, but here it goes anyway. First off, I was just repeating something someone told me that I trust is knowledgeable and honest because I thought it might contribute to the topic at hand. I never had access to the graph showing the failure/time curve. I realize this is second hand information and therefore less trustworthy. But seeing as this just an informal venue for posting your 2ยข, I found it appropriate none the less. I was never trying to put my comment out there as a proven fact. I stated from the beginning that it was something that had been told by someone I consider knowledgeable about electronics.
    And I still maintain that failure to provide evidence doesn't equate with being wrong.
     
  42. To the OP
    Your CF card is failing, they do this, all electronics will fail. If you are lucky, they will fail while you still have warranty and can get a free replacement.
    My nephew had a brand new card (SD card of course) fail in his D5100 after less than 3 weeks of use, it was under warranty and he got a free replacement.
    You should always have a spare card, they will fail
    And if the problem is with the camera, it will be evident once you start using your spare card and the problem recurs.
    Note to everyone, you are NOT helping the original poster
     
  43. Thanks All, and thank you Lorne. I do have spares so no worry there, unfortunately the warranty is up on this card so best to not chance it and just let this one go.
    Regards, James.
     
  44. You guys are such suckers for Ann Overland's transparently trolling posts. I suspect that she's a complete charlatan into who's trap you've all unfortunately been snared.
     
  45. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    We will be left with the trouble makers that almost never contribute with good adwise.​

    What good "adwise" have you given? Making ridiculously incorrect statements about provable technical issues is the opposite of good "adwise."
    I suspect that she's a complete charlatan into who's trap you've all unfortunately been snared.​

    Always possible. But better to make sure people have good information than listen to her technical non-facts and non-logic. Oddly enough, she doesn't seem to believe that logic matters on technical issues and it would be bad for the site to think that's acceptable "information."
     
  46. 1) People will stop asking questions​
    I hope not! The greatest risk on that front is that people's questions will be answered, unapologetically, by members giving out incorrect information. If that keeps up, PN's reputation is history.
    2) People will stop helping one another​
    I doubt that. But the purpose of this side-bar nag-fest is to avoid a drift towards a site that confuses typing words with providing actual insight and correct information. It's really bad for the site to play host to regular bursts of dis-information, when it comes to specific topics like this.
    3) We will be left with the trouble makers that almost never contribute with good adwise.​
    That is exactly what a couple of us are trying to correct, right in this thread. Your Trollirony is strong, complaining about that which you're so fond of doing! But I am looking forward to the good advise you're just waiting (so far, anyway) to give to the OP. We've covered the fact that CF cards fail, and that new UDMA cards will be a perfectly good choice as a spare/replacement. You've said that such cards don't fail, and that you doubt UDMA cards would be compatible. You've got evidence in front of your very eyes that correct those two mistaken assertions, but you're sticking, for some reason, to your trouble-making guns. Mark's right, that you obviously do this on purpose, but why is always a bit of a mystery.

    James: I treat memory cards like Soviet dis-armament. Trust, but verify! And have a backup plan! The moment you get even a whiff of odd behavior from a card, yank it from use (so that you'll experience minimal risk of over-writing valuable data), drop in your spare, and work over the cranky card using recovery tools, once you get back to the ranch.
     
  47. "So Don, what good adwise do you have for the OP?"

    Well, the best ad wise I can offer is follow a B&H ad.

    You?
     
  48. "You guys are such suckers for Ann Overland's transparently trolling posts. I suspect that she's a complete charlatan into who's trap you've all unfortunately been snared."

    I've gone to her profile page, and have concluded that when she's not an active troll, she is at best a concern troll.

    And I suspect she's not really a she. And most certainly, not a photographer in any serious sense.
     
  49. Siegfried Gust ...
    "I never had access to the graph showing the failure/time curve."

    I don't think you should've been beaten up so harshly. On the other hand, electronic and electro-mechanical devices do tend to have failure rates on the "infant mortality" end of the scale. So a normal distribution likely won't fit.
     
  50. I suspect she's not really a she. And most certainly, not a photographer in any serious sense.​
    I share these suspicions, but thought it best not to state them earlier.
     
  51. I share these suspicions, but thought it best not to state them earlier.​
    I'm in no position to say whether your suspicions are justified or not but I have taken a look at previous posts and see nothing to suggest Anne is a man masquerading as a woman. I come across women techies quite often and they can be ascerbic. I think this is because techie ladies are a threat to quite a lot of males and have to grow very thick skins, just to get on with their jobs.
    Perhaps Anne is one such spiky lady, who has become, perhaps, overly assertive due to past experience?
     
  52. But the purpose of this side-bar nag-fest is to avoid a drift towards a site that confuses typing words with providing actual insight and correct information. It's really bad for the site to play host to regular bursts of dis-information, when it comes to specific topics like this.​
    Amen to that, Matt.
     
  53. Well I should be working but reading this was much more fun. Anyway, I had the same problem with one of my cards just last spring when I was shooting my mother-in-law's house that was about to be torn down. I had taken about 100 shots or so when I got the same message. I was beside myself because I had also taken some portraits of my mother-in-law and I didn't want to ask her to sit again. Anyway, I was using a 5D MkII. I took the card out and put it into my 7D and hoped to see the images but instead got the same message. Crap! I put everything down for a few hours and later turned the camera on and boom! The pictures were there. Just wondering if this adds anything to the conversation? BTW, I haven't used the card since and all has been well.
     

Share This Page